You know how certain movies remain with you long after you watched them for the first time? How you keep going back to watch them again and again? How, like the child who wants Goldilocks and the Three Bears read to her for the thousandth time, there’s something about that film that strikes a chord, provides comfort, maybe even confirms your world view.
I’ve recently had to purchase THE RISE OF THE GUARDIANS for at least one of those reasons. I’m a big fan of animated movies, having been raised on Disney’s classics, and I love fairy tales. This combines both in a new take on the familiar icons of Santa, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Sandman, and Jack Frost, and although it’s not a brand-new movie, I can’t shake the way its message—“Find your center”—resonates with me.
Jack Frost, our hero, has been searching for 300 years for the answer to why the Man in the Moon chose him. He has no memory of who he was before he became Jack Frost. Santa tells him to “Find your center,” using Russian nesting dolls to illustrate. For Santa, what’s at his core, what makes him who he is, as the smallest doll in Santa’s set reveals, is JOY. His wonderful toy creations provide joy not only to all who receive them, but he derives great joy from making them. When Jack Frost finds the key to his memories, and why the Moon chose him, his eyes are opened to what’s always been at his center: FUN! Surprisingly, it’s a strong weapon against Pitch Black, the bogeyman. Jack becomes one of the GUARDIANS because to keep children having fun, fear has to be banished.
“Find your center,” is a powerful message for anyone, but I think it especially resonates with me because my characters are always searching for “home.” What they are really in search of is whatever will make them whole and complete, and usually that means finding and acknowledging their “center,” their core truth. When they’ve done that, they can finally allow themselves to love and be loved, to build their “home” in whatever form suits them.